Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #1
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars!
My Overview: The gorgeous cover and the overall concept of “Graceling” grabbed my attention right away. In the Seven Kingdoms, a few people are “graced” with special abilities (sort of like in the show Heroes). Those with useful graces like sight, fighting, or tracking live privileged lives in the service of their king. Katsa’s grace is killing, and she is recognized and feared across the land for her abilities.
It’s interesting how much I loved this book the first time I picked it up – so much so that I rated it in my top 3 favorite books of all time. I was totally mesmerized by the story, thought the characters were flawless, and knew the plot was well-developed and amazing. Ten years later, it’s still in my top 20, but it’s no longer anywhere near the top 3. I suspect that is due to my age (alas, I’m no longer a wistful teen), the list of truly amazing books I’ve read since, and my continual development as a writer. Now more than ever I demand more from what I read.
That said, I still think the overall concepts and storyline are interesting and well-told. The main character, despite having such a harsh grace, is strong and relatable, and I enjoyed seeing her development throughout the story. I also liked that this book has a really sweet love story. I found it incredibly romantic, even in the re-read. I think anyone who likes the teen genre will also really enjoy it.
Recommendations: The next book by Cashore, “Fire,” is a companion novel rather than a sequel. I liked it, but not near as much as “Graceling,” as there were some major pacing issues and a few confusing concepts. It is still worth reading, however, as you gain some good back-history on a few characters. The true sequel is called “Bitterblue” and although I’m not very far along, it’s looking very promising.
Other books you might like:
- “Wings” by Aprilynne Pike
- “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
- “Grave Mercy” Robin LaFevers
- “Firelight” by Sophie Jordan
- “Wild Magic” by Tamora Pierce